After their fifth loss this year, the Football Ferns have a chance to bounce back against Wales tomorrow morning (Wednesday 5am NZT).
Wednesday's match will be the first this year in which the Kiwis have faced opposition ranked lower than them, presenting a good test as to how preparations are tracking ahead of next year's World Cup. New Zealand are 22nd in Fifa's rankings, while Wales are 31st.
With only two goals in six matches, coach Jitka Klimkova took some positives from Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Norway.
"Playing against an opposition that is 11th ranked in the world with world-class players is not easy for us but I felt it was a competitive game," says Klimkova. "We saw some good moments on the ball and that's what we want to keep working on."
After playing a very possession-based team just three days ago, Klimkova says her side needs to be prepared for counter-attacks and the transitional game of the Welsh.
The Ferns have not been clinical enough in the final third in recent encounters, and the coach hopes to improve on this tomorrow. Klimkova said the aim is to better keep the ball to create chances to score goals.
Missing senior players in recent tours has given plenty of opportunities for younger players to show their talent, particularly in the backline.
The absence of Ali Riley, Abby Erceg and CJ Bott, have forced the youth of Kate Taylor and Liz Anton, and Claudia Bunge to step up.
Anton got her first start, playing a full 90 for the team against Norway. Bunge continued to make her mark in the team after leading the backline again on Sunday. Klimkova said: "Her performances are asking for it [her selection]."
"It's always good for a coach to have competition in the team and that's what is happening right now."
With depth in defenders and emerging talent, selection decisions are proving tough for Klimkova. "This is a great time to see younger players and different combinations," she said.
Against Norway, Klimkova also gave 18-year-old Taylor her debut, after she'd worked hard in training. "She's doing a really, really good job."
Subbed on at halftime for the experienced Rebekah Stott, the Wellington Phoenix defender took a knock to the face after 10 minutes and was treated by the physio before playing on and impressing at centre-back.
"I was so annoyed at myself [when she suffered the injury]," Taylor said. "There was no way I was coming off."
Taylor said she told the physio: "Do anything you need to do, just put me back on the field!"
Klimkova was impressed with Taylor's debut. "You could see it on the field playing against such strong forwards wasn't easy but she handled it very well."